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The Cheapskate's Luxurious Visit to Caesars Palace: July 26-29

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by lithium78, Jul 30, 2015.

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  1. lithium78

    lithium78 High-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    Just got back from my first stay at Caesars Palace and we had such an amazing time. This was a trip we'd been planning for a while and we wanted to make it as luxurious as possible for the lowest possible cost, so we could concentrate our money on gameplay.

    Sunday, July 26th: The Arrival

    We caught a 7 am flight from Newark Liberty International Airport here in New Jersey nonstop to Vegas and arrived around 9:30 am local time. After a quick cab ride to Caesars Palace, we checked our bags at the bell desk and decided to go wander the Strip for a while. We stopped over next door at the Mirage to pick up tickets for Cirque du Soleil's KA and Cirque du Soleil's Zarkana that we had purchased with My Vegas loyalty points. The face value of the tickets was $143 each, so we saved a ton of money with that free game. We walked for a bit and took a bunch of photos to use for Instagram points on Social Rewards, then we headed over to the Linq to check it out and have some ice cream at Ghirardelli's. After that, we went shopping at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, where they have a 1950s dress shop called Tatyana's that my wife absolutely flipped over. We also found that the ABC shop in the Miracle Mile Shops sells liter bottles of water for $1, which is even cheaper than what the people were selling out of the coolers out on the walkways between casinos. Score.
    Around 3:30 pm, we headed back to Caesars to check-in and discovered that Platinum status is actually useful in Vegas, unlike Atlantic City. They had a separate check-in line for Platinum members, so we skipped the line, then -- to our happy amazement -- they upgraded our comp room in the Forum Tower to the Octavius Tower with a view of the Bellagio Fountains. We couldn't believe it, because our level of play isn't considered anything special in Atlantic City. Check out this view:

    octavius at night.jpg

    We got our bags and went upstairs to enjoy the jacuzzi tub in the room and take a shower. Then, we headed down into the casino to enjoy some slots. I had a little trouble finding dollar slots and that's pretty much all I play because I feel like any other slots are a waste of time. We ended up spending most of our time in the Palace Casino. The weird thing is that I played there for hours and no cocktail waitress ever came to offer me drinks. So, I didn't get any drinks for the whole evening. I've never experienced anything like it before. There is no way to request drinks using the computer on the machine like in AC, so I was just out of luck when it came to drinks. Very, very odd.
    I had a couple of modest hits as the evening went on, but nothing too special. No hand pays. I ended up losing a bunch of money, but that's okay. You can't win them all, right? A friend who came with us won big on her first trip to Vegas, so I was glad to see that.
    For a late dinner, we went to the Cheesecake Factory in the Forum Shops and used a gift card, so it didn't cost us anything. (I love when meals are free.) We hung around after dinner and watched the Fall of Atlantis Show with the animatronics. It was cheesy fun, even though we couldn't understand most of what the "gods" were saying. The fire and smoke effects were a lot of fun.

    Monday, July 27th: Walking the Strip

    We went to breakfast around 8 am the next morning to the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars and we used reward credits to purchase a 24 hour buffet of buffets pass. It was an extra $15 to use the pass for the Bacchanal breakfast, but we had a ton of reward credits, so that wasn't a problem for us. Excellent breakfast buffet. They had anything you could want and it was all really delicious.
    After that, we went next door to the Mirage and got complimentary passes to Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden with My Vegas rewards and saved ourselves some more money. We enjoyed seeing the dolphins jump and do tricks with the trainers and seeing all the big cats from S&R's old show. That was good for an hour or so of enjoyment.
    We went back to the Linq after that and used our Platinum status to get two-for-one tickets for the High Roller observation wheel and then used reward credits to pay for the other ticket. $25 is a little steep for a half hour ride, but it was definitely worth using some reward credits. The High Roller is 550 feet tall and there isn't a better view of the Strip. Here's a photo I took up at the top:

    high roller view.jpg

    We went for lunch at the Paris using our buffet passes, but the Le Village Buffet there was really poor quality. Nothing was labeled and everyone in our party had food allergies, so that was a serious issue. Our friend accidentally ate something with mushrooms in it and it made her really sick. We left a poor customer survey about it.
    After that, we walked up to the MGM Grand, which was a big mistake. We had no idea how far it was from the Paris to the MGM Grand and we were really dehydrated and tired in the hot sun by the time we got there. Next time, we'll take the monorail instead.
    At the MGM Grand, I used a gift card I had for free tickets to CSI: The Experience. It was okay for fans of the show, but the "case" you solve is really simple stuff. It seems more geared for little kids than adults. We solved the case in about a half hour, so I'm glad we didn't actually pay for tickets for it. I bought a t-shirt in the CSI gift shop, because my niece is in school to become a forensic scientist.
    After that, it was time for KA and that show absolutely blew me away. They advertise that they spent $165 million on the show and it looks like every penny of it. I couldn't believe what those performers could do. The acrobatics, strength, artistry. Amazing stuff. It was one of the best shows I have ever seen and it's pretty incredible that we were able to see it for free.
    After the show, we stopped by the Monorail station at the MGM and got our free single ride tickets we reserved with My Vegas points and then rode the Monorail to Planet Hollywood for a late dinner. The Spice Market Buffet was vastly superior to the Paris and we really enjoyed it. I also appreciated that all the CET buffets in Vegas let Platinum members skip the line. That saved us a ton of time.
    We walked across the street after dinner and watched the fountains at the Bellagio and then returned to our rooms to enjoy the jacuzzi before calling it a night.

    Tuesday, July 28th: Downtown

    We got up early on Tuesday so we could squeeze another meal out of our 24 hour buffet passes and then we caught a cab to go downtown. I had always heard about Fremont Street, so we decided to check it out for ourselves. Honestly, it was really junky compared to the Strip. All the souvenir shops were priced about the same as the Strip, but the souvenirs were all cheap Chinese crap that you could find anywhere. We couldn't find any good shopping downtown at all. The casinos were also nothing special at all. It was nice seeing the big nugget at the Golden Nugget and the Blarney Stone at the D, but we really wanted to play some vintage game machines with the old coins and those were nowhere to be found. We did play the Sigma Horse Racing game at the D and that was fun, but other than that we were really bored by what was offered.
    We also really did not like how many homeless and desperate people were everywhere on Fremont Street. A homeless person wouldn't leave me alone when I didn't want to give him any money and he actually touched me. It was disgusting. We really felt unsafe downtown, so after about an hour of being there we caught another cab back to Caesars. Never again. It was awful.
    Back at Caesars, we went to the pool for a couple hours. The pool area at Caesars is called the Garden of the Gods and it's amazing. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen with fountains, statues, and columns everywhere. They also offer swim-up blackjack in the pool and they have a nice pool bar as well as a snack shop called "Snackus Maximus". No lie.
    We went to dinner at Serendipity3 out front and then walked to the Bellagio and took the tram to the Aria to see Cirque du Soleil's Zarkana. We saw the same show on our last trip, but they've changed a lot about it. They took out the main character Zark the magician and changed the entire soundtrack as well as the dark tone it used to have. Now it's all about the clowns. We had a nice time, but I'm glad the tickets were free, because it wouldn't have been worth the price otherwise. After the show, we headed back to Caesars and had some drinks in the lobby bar (also comped).

    Wednesday, July 29th: Leaving

    We got up early on the morning we left and grabbed some breakfast at Starbucks using another gift card. Then, we took some photos in the Garden of the Gods and the wedding chapel, before checking out. I tried to get them to waive the resort fee, because the wifi is so poor at Caesars Palace that it was completely unusable, but they refused to waive it. They did not care that they were charging me for a service that didn't work. I was able to pay the resort fee with reward credits anyway, but it really annoyed me.
    When I got home, I found that my slots play in Vegas was apparently high enough for them to offer me free weekend rooms at every property in town except Caesars, Nobu, and the Cromwell. That really shocked me, because like I said before, my play isn't considered anything special in Atlantic City. That was really nice to see and I'm looking forward to what offers they send my way in the future.
    At the end of the trip, we tallied things up and between My Vegas, reward credits, comps, and gift cards, we saved thousands of dollars on this trip. All we had to pay for was the airfare, tips, taxi, and gameplay. Being a cheapskate really paid off for this trip. We had an amazing time at Caesars Palace.
     
  2. NandJfrmNJ

    NandJfrmNJ High-Roller

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    It's good to see you got up-graded to the Octavius Tower, I hope that the fact I'm Diamond will get us an up-grade in Sept. on our visit. Interesting that you say PH buffet is better than Paris. It is too bad but most of the CET buffets have gone down in quality. The Bucchannal buffet is by far the best, of course the most expensive.
     
  3. gmille58

    gmille58 Low-Roller

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    We spent a night at PH earlier this month to try to get on the CET radar. We have been strictly Mlife on our previous Vegas trips. We had the kids with us so gambling time was limited, but my wife got offers for 3 nights at Caesers, 4 at PH or Paris, or 5 at the other properties. I didn't get a separate offer, but when I check the TR website there are comp nights available for me most of the time now. My understanding of the CET comp rooms is that you still have to pay the resort fee, but still not a bad deal. Not sure if it is piggybacked on their current offer of cheaper nights or not, but nice to know. We play green chip BJ and my wife plays slots as well. She mostly plays 'penny' slots, but on one of the machines she was at $16 per pull.
     
  4. B S

    B S MIA

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    Great report and glad you enjoyed it! We love the Octavious Tower!
     
  5. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    You made out like bandits with all your savings! Congrats on the upgrade. In all the times I've booked at Caesars comped in a Forum Tower room, I've never actually stayed in one. Caesars always has upgraded me to Palace or Octavius. Love Palace Tower for proximity to the pool.
     
  6. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

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    Great report and glad you had such a great time!
     
  7. pphold

    pphold pp Park Place Degenerate

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    Great TR.


    So that is why my Augustus tower room is gone when I check in late and get the Forum tower.

    Great use of MyVegas rewards but where did you get the gift cards?
     
  8. lithium78

    lithium78 High-Roller

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    I usually get gift cards with points from my other credit cards. AMEX is offering a $100 MGM Resorts gift card and $100 Cheesecake Factory gift card for 10,000 points each. I got both of them and we were able to get a lot of use out of them.
     
  9. pphold

    pphold pp Park Place Degenerate

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    great job Love the TR. Thanks for writing it.

    I redeemed the MyVegas and has been fun Now there is nothing that is really interesting. I've seen all the shows and I get RFB so no need for room food and drinks. Only thing left is the Free play.


    I like how you do Vegas. I've only been to AC once. Guess Vegas is still better.
     
  10. lithium78

    lithium78 High-Roller

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    AC is okay for what it is, but it's not Vegas. AC is a relatively cheap way for me to get my game on when I can't get away to Vegas, because I can drive there within two hours instead of taking a plane and bring my own food because they have a fridge in the room at Caesars AC with no dopey mini-bar taking up space. They also typically give me free buffets and slot play and free weekday rooms during the off-season (non-Summer months). It's practically impossible to get comp weekend rooms, though, and the shows are nowhere near as good as what they have in Vegas. Also, they have free coffee in the rooms in Caesars AC, while they try to charge $13 for K-cups at Caesars Palace. I found out about that and brought my own K-cups instead. More cheapskate stuff maybe, but paying for coffee in the room is ridiculous.
     
  11. Tammy58

    Tammy58 Frugal Slot Jockey

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    Loved your report! I had to laugh about your take on downtown. We are not crazy about downtown either. I laugh because my husband won't go back to AC due to the mentally ill homeless on the boardwalk. We had a few psychotics following us and bothering us the last time we were there. That was 5 years ago. My husband will never go back.
     
  12. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    Was there an actual separate line marked Platinum at the Planet Hollywood buffet?
    (I am curious because I will be Platinum in 2016.)

    Thanks for the report.
     
  13. lithium78

    lithium78 High-Roller

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    Yes, there are separate lines for check-in and at the buffet at PH for Platinum TR members. We were really happy about that, because when we got there the line was crazy long for the buffet at 9:30 at night and we got to skip the entire thing and get seated in less than a minute.
     
  14. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

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    At most all food venues in Vegas Blonde, there is priority seating for Platinum. Even if no signage you can ask (such as at a sit-down restaurant). The buffet at Caesars often does NOT have it for Platinum although I think they do at times now that it is not as busy as it was when they first opened. For most buffets, it is Diamond/Platinum together for the priority line. For check-in it is normally a separate line at the windows and Diamond/7Star has it's own room (At Flamingo Platinum is in same room).
     
  15. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Yeah in the evenings this line is a big benefit for the buffet. We've waited about 30 minutes to eat there at times. And i believe most of those were weekdays.
     
  16. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    Thanks for the info. I have to get used to being a Plat. :cry:
     
  17. Kobra2848

    Kobra2848 Low-Roller

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    Platinum does have it advantages even though it sucks that it lost the ability to waive resort fee's. I was surprised on our trip this past May that upon check out they waived the resort fee's when I mentioned the problems I had with the internet access. I agree the Paris buffet is not as good as in the past.

    Mark
     
  18. PPtraderal

    PPtraderal Low-Roller

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    I fully agree that PH buffet is better than Paris. Our last visit at Paris was disappointing at best. We found PH to have more variety and the hot crab legs were great. Good concise trip report. If you noticed they seat Plat and diamond players at one end, kind of an unposted VIP area. Thank you for posting. Al C
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
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